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Kenosha students create their own fidget toy business

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- With the help of investors and a 3D printer a group of Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum (KTEC) students worked together to create their very own business. Together they formed the company Prestige Midwest and created a T-CUBE (Texture Cube Usable By Everyone).

“It's designed to be kind of a fidget toy except it doesn't make it noise and there's no moving parts,” Brian Yal, KTEC 7th-Grader, said.

The group of about 20 students worked together to brainstorm and create the T-CUBE handling everything from the financing to the social media marketing. The small cubes were printed by a 3D printer and have sides with different textures and shapes.

The T-CUBEs were sold over the summer at the Kenosha Harbor Market.

“If we just read a textbook we would not get any experience like this,” Torin Byrnes, KTEC 8th Grader, said. “We actually got to do hands-on, create our own thing work, with real money and it was really cool.”

The Junior Achievement project was led by Leeward Business Advisors . The CEO says the business world needs more people entering the workforce with critical thinking skills.

“We see that as they continue through their education they are more engaged, more successful and they come out better rounded and ready to tackle life head on,” Michael Polzin, Leeward Business Advisors CEO, said.

In order to get the money to fund their business, the students had to reach out to parents and community leaders to try and find investors.

They were able to collect more than one thousand dollars from investors to kick-start their project.

“We acted nice,” Zander Harvey, KTEC 7th-Grader said. “We tried to show them that we knew what we were doing, that we could be in the big game, and that we knew exactly what to do and how to sell this product.”

In total, thes tudents sold more than 300 T-CUBEs. Prestige Midwest was able to pay-back all of their investors and even had some leftover money to donate to charity.

The kids decided to donate the extra proceeds to The Shalom Center in Kenosha that helps people in need.

“It was fantastic for these students to go from blank slate, build an entire business, and then turn and show commitment to community,” Polzin said.

Here’s some highlights from the young entrepreneurs’ interviews:

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